The Myth: Muhammad Never Killed Captives, a post from TheReligionofPeace.com

“Our Prophet (peace be upon him) always showed the greatest mercy to those taken captive in battle.  No hostages were ever harmed.” 

The Truth:

Islamic terrorists take and execute hostages on an almost daily basis.  While we are often assured that this practice has “nothing to do with Islam,” Muhammad did, in fact, execute prisoners of war and other hostages.

Following the Battle of Badr, several defenseless Meccans were slaughtered by Muhammad’s companions.  These included a man named Umayya and his young son, who were taken prisoner by a Muslim (a former friend who tried to protect them), but were then set upon by a mob before they could be escorted to safety:

“I said (would you attack) my prisoners?  But… The people formed a ring around us as I was protecting him.  Then a man drew his sword and cut off his son’s foot so that he fell down and Umayya [the boy’s father] let out a cry such as I have never heard… They hewed them to pieces with their swords until they were dead.” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 449)

Another heartwarming account of Islamic chivalry during the same battle concerns Abu Jahl,  one of Muhammad’s arch-enemies at Mecca.  He met his death as he lay defenseless.  In this case, two Muslims took the opportunity to administer the death blow:

Mu’awwidh passed Abu Jahl as he lay there helpless and smote him until he left him at his last gasp. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 451)Another Muslim named Abdullah then came by and put his foot on Abu Jahl’s neck and taunted him before decapitating him:
Then I cut off his head and brought it to the apostle saying, “This is the head of the enemy of Allah, Abu Jahl.”… I threw his head before the apostle and he gave thanks to Allah. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 451).

Apparently these companions of Muhammad were unaware that “Islam is against” killing captives.   But who could really blame them?  Not only did the prophet of Islam praise them for the slaughter, he also ordered the death of another captive brought before him.

Uqba bin Abu Mu’ayt pled for his life:

“When the apostle ordered him to be killed, Uqba said, “But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?”  [Muhammad’s reply] “Hell.”  The man was put to death. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 458)

Other captives were ransomed, but Uqba received special treatment because he had mocked Muhammad at Mecca.  His crime was that he had thrown the entrails of a dead animal on Muhammad’s back as he was praying, to the amusement of other Meccans (Muslim 4422, Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 277).  The prophet of Islam determined that this fraternity prank was worth killing over, and it became the first of several other occasions in which people were slain on Muhammad’s order merely for mocking him.

Interestingly, it appears that Muhammad regretted not killing all of his captives, instead of ransoming a few.  Verse 8:67 of the Qur’an was “revealed” in the aftermath of Badr and says “It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land.”

The prophet of Islam went on to execute many other captives, most notoriously the 800 men and boys taken prisoner at Qurayza.  His men also brutally murdered an elderly woman named Umm Qirfa after taking her prisoner following a raid on the tribe of Banu Fazara.  According to al-Tabari she was killed by, “putting a rope to her two legs and to two camels and driving them until thy rent her in two.”  (The woman’s daughter was then doled out to one of her Muslim killers).

While it is common to hear Muslims claim that their religion is “against” killing hostages, the actual history of Islam proves that nothing could be further from the truth

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2 Responses to The Myth: Muhammad Never Killed Captives, a post from TheReligionofPeace.com

  1. θ says:

    “Article says: Other captives were ransomed, but Uqba received special treatment because he had mocked Muhammad at Mecca. His crime was that he had thrown the entrails of a dead animal on Muhammad’s back as he was praying, to the amusement of other Meccans (Muslim 4422, Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 277). ”

    On the contrary, according to Muslim and Bukhari, in fact a man Uqba bin Abu Mu’ayt was slain in the battlefield of Badr, not taken captive.
    Muslim, Book 19, Hadith 4424
    It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that, the Messenger of Allah turned his face towards the Ka’ba and invoked God’s imprecations upon six men of the Quraish, among whom were Abu Jahl, Umayya b. Khalaf, Utba b. Rabi’a, Shaiba b. Rabi’a and ‘Uqba b. Abu Mu’ait I swear by God that I saw them lying slain in the battlefield of Badr. It being a hot day, their complexion had changed (showing signs of decay).

    Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 9, Hadith 499
    Narrated `Amr bin Maimun: When Allah’s Messenger completed his prayer, he said, O Allah, Take revenge on Quraish. He said so thrice and added, O Allah take revenge on `Amr bin Hisham, `Utba bin Rabi`a, Shaiba bin Rabi`a, Al-Walid bin `Utba, Umaiya bin Khalaf, `Uqba bin Abi Mu’ait and `Umar a bin Al-Walid. `Abdullah added, By Allah, I saw all of them dead in the battle field on the day of Badr and they were dragged and thrown in the Qalib (a well) at Badr: Allah’s Messenger then said, ‘Allah’s curse has descended upon the people of the Qalib (well).

  2. θ says:

    “Article says: Verse 8:67 of the Qur’an was “revealed” in the aftermath of Badr and says “It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land.” ”

    The verse Q.8, v.67 doesn’t commanded Moslems to slay the captives. Rather, the following verse Q.8, v.70 commands Prophet Muhammad to spare the life of the PoWs, even (if nobody ransoms them) to offer the free amnesty over them.
    Allah gives the free liberation as the “test” for both Moslems and the PoWs:
    Q.8, v.70. O Prophet, say to whoever is in your hands of the captives, If Allah knows good in your hearts, He will give you better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

    Moreover, other verse Q.47, v.4 repeats the same amnesty:
    Q.47, v.4. When ye meet those who disbelieve, then cast the captivity [Riqab] until, when ye have overcome them, then fasten the prisoners, and afterward either a Grace, or a ransom till the war lay down its yoke. That is it. And if Allah willed He could have punished them but that He may test some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain.

    Allah gives the free liberation as a “test” of Faith for both Moslems and the PoWs. Allah tested Moslems concerning the amnesty as mentioned in Q.47, v.4. “That is it. And if Allah willed He could have punished them but that He may test some of you by means of others”.
    Likewise, Allah tests the PoWs’ humanity and gratitude in Q.8, v.71.
    Q.8, v.71. But if they intend to betray thee, then they have already betrayed Allah before, and He empowered over them. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.

    In a nutshell, Nowhere does Qur’an allow Moslems to slay the surrendered captives. Rather, Allah tested Moslem’s obedience and Faith with a real trial of freely giving the amnesty if nobody ransomed them.

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